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Scam Alert

Patriot Act and FDIC used in phishing scam
Watch out for an e-mail that claims to be from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. It's actually an attempt at robbery, identity theft and possibly a computer virus.

According to the FDIC, the scam e-mail states that the Department of Homeland Security Director, Tom Ridge, has advised the FDIC to suspend all deposit insurance on the recipient's bank account "due to suspected violations of the USA Patriot Act." The e-mail also says that deposit insurance will be suspended until personal identity, including bank account information, can be verified.

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An alert sent out by the FDIC cautions that the e-mail is "a fraudulent attempt to obtain personal information from consumers." The alert warns consumers against clicking on the link in the e-mail, which may activate a computer virus named Exploit-URLSpoof.gen.

If you have received this e-mail, the FDIC requests that you forward any information to alert@fdic.gov. The FDIC has a call center set up for people who have questions about the scam. The center can be reached by calling 1-877-ASK-FDIC (275-3342).

Both the FDIC and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are attempting to locate the person or persons responsible for this scam e-mail.

You may think this scam sounds familiar. That's because it is yet another example of the new and increasingly prevalent scam called phishing. This scam uses a legitimate-looking e-mail, claiming to be from a reputable financial institution or well-known business, to try and con you into revealing your personal information. Remember, a bank or other legitimate financial institution will never ask for personal information by e-mail.

Read about more scams.

-- Posted: Jan. 26, 2004



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